The True Identity of Woman - Part 5
By : Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
Promoting decadence among women
They used to force women to use their physical appeal and attraction in order to create a false character for themselves. This was decadence for women, not improvement or progress. Is it possible to commit a bigger crime against a woman than keeping her busy with cosmetics, fashion, physical appeal, clothes, gold and jewellery, using her as an instrument to further different goals and not letting her enter the arena of politics, ethics and education? This was what the Pahlavi regime used to do with accurate plans.
Anti-Islamic clothing and behaviour of women in different environments
Whenever one visited a certain environment during the time of Shah Regime, one felt that everything was anti-Islamic in that environment. Pious and religious people were treated in a spiteful, cold or indifferent way. The behaviour of women, the clothing of women, the behaviour of men, the indecent actions of certain men and women: everything was un-Islamic.
Entering the realm of knowledge at the cost of giving up piety and Islamic dignity
In the self-loathing and evil monarchy, women were truly oppressed from all aspects. If a woman was determined to enter the realm of knowledge, she had to give up religious devotion, piety and modesty. It was not possible for a Muslim woman to easily observe hijab and preserve her dignity in universities, in educational environments and in scientific and cultural canters. It was not possible to do so. It was not possible for a religious woman to freely walk in the streets of Tehran and certain other cities while preserving her Islamic dignity and wearing even partial hijab. She could not do so without being verbally or physically insulted by immoral people and those who were intoxicated with corruption and immoral behaviour, a souvenir from the West. They had made it impossible for most women to acquire knowledge in this country. I am not speaking about the exceptions. In general it was not possible for women to enter the realm of knowledge unless they agreed to give up hijab and their Islamic piety and dignity.
The same was true of the arena of politics and social activities. If a woman was determined to achieve a social or political position during the time of monarchies in Iran; she had to give up hijab, modesty and Islamic dignity. Of course, this depended on the character and capacities of the woman.
Women who wore hijab were exposed to ridicule during the time of Shah Regime
During the time of Shah Regime, only a few women and girls used to wear hijab in universities and they used to be ridiculed. That treatment was inhuman, indecent and wrong because one must not ridicule and sling mud at what one does not agree with. And this is exactly what western media are doing today.
In our universities and in Shahid Beheshti University in particular, there were a number of religious youth. You would recognize some of the names if I told you their names. Some of them were my friends or relatives. We would gather in this university - which was called "The National University of Iran" at that time - and they would tell me certain things about the conditions of universities. First of all, there was not even a small place for praying let alone for religious ceremonies. They had gathered money and built a small place for praying. But the government would not let such things happen. This was the case with Shahid Beheshti University, whose students were mainly from aristocratic and rich families. It was the canter of corruption and immorality. The same was true of other universities as well. Pious students and professors were really under pressure in universities. The same was true of our society at large. A woman who wanted to observe hijab - not wear a chador and cover her face, but just wear partial hijab - could not walk in the streets.
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